Colorado -- Royal Gorge Field Office Draft RMP out for Public Comment until 5 May 2017!!!

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Colorado -- Royal Gorge Field Office Draft RMP out for Public Comment until 5 May 2017!!!

Post by Admin on Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:52 am

Hey Gold Adventurers...

Below is an e-mail I recently sent to my elected officials here in Kolorado.......asking for help in pushing back on BLM, yet again...

The Royal Gorge Field Office mismanages about 1/3rd of the State of Colorado BLM public owned lands...  Their new draft Resource Master Plan is out for public comment until 5 May 2017.

I'll be calling for them to implement their "Take No Action" alternative, as any other one simply goes from bad to worse..........by withdrawing more land from mineral entry/claiming, designating more streams as "Wild & Scenic", establishing yet more Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, closing off more roads & trails and areas so newly designated "sensitive" plants, animals & insects can have it all to themselves...

I hope EVERYONE follows the link/URL....reads the 4 draft documents for themselves.........and comments back to the BLM by 5 May 2017!

If we just say nothing, remain silent, we tacitly approve of all that BLM is doing to further limit our access/use/enjoyment of OUR public lands...

Randy  C-17A   Smile

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Good morning...

With the horribly mismanaged BLM as it exists today.......it simply NEVER ends.......their total one-sided favoritism for the extreme environmentalists........... and their abject distain for all other user groups.

I have participated in numerous scoping meetings, on-line comment sessions, e-mail inputs to the local Royal Gorge BLM RMP rewrite/draft over the last couple years.  Now we finally see the BLM's Resource Master Plan draft now out for public comment until 5 May 2017.

I am still reviewing portions of the BLM Royal Gorge RMP major rewrite.................but it's 99% B.S.  Hundreds and hundreds of pages in multiple documents...    Can you say too much "government"?

I can tell you right off the bat............it's 99% B.S..................just like the Cache Creek Placering Area supplementary rules, they plan to cram down our throats over any and all opposition any day now..............unless you help stop them.

https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/planAndProjectSite.do?methodName=dispatchToPatternPage&currentPageId=53990

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

So, as I am seeing it........they are considering multiple "alternatives" of action to be commented on and for BLM to finally decide on:

1).  Take No Action Alternative -- leave things as they are.

(Yeah, I wish.  Never ever will be chosen, because BLM's already decided to "act".  The ONLY question is of the other "alternatives", how bad will it be?  This is the proverbial throw away to give the false impression they at least considered leaving things as they are today.)

2).  Multiple alternatives for their 4 main sub-regions that will:

-- Possibly enact up to 15 new Areas of Critical Environmental Concern.

-- Designate up to 59.8 miles of rivers, creeks and streams as "Wild & Scenic" under the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act of 1968......meaning land will be withdrawn, uses/access denied.

-- Designate large areas (in acres) as too "fragile" and home or potential home to "sensitive" species, as THEY define them.......under their Travel Mgt Plan part........and so close them to all vehicle traffic.

-- On and on...  Haven't got thru it all yet.  You know government B.S. works, as I do.  Just make it 100s and 1,000s of pages, bury everything you want to do to screw people deep, deep in endless tables, charts and attachments......then go "final".......write "law" instead of Congress.

In their last major RMP rewrite they did the exact same things............designated new Wilderness Study Areas, ACECs, Wild & Scenic stream segments........identified all sorts of new and special "sensitive" species of weeds, mice and bugs...  The Endangered Species Act is being wildly abused.  The Wild & Scenic Rivers Act is wildly being abused.  The NEPA is being misused and abused.  RMP "decision language" only favors plants & animals..........humans have ZERO priority in any "decision".

SO, why now.............why do we see a need to withdraw even MORE land from mineral entry/claiming/mining, close MORE areas, prohibit recreational shooting in large parts of our public lands, close more disbursed camp sites, close more roads and trails, prohibit MORE activities to anyone and everyone EXCEPT use by extreme environmentalists?   Guess they got it wrong last time?    Nope.   They just can't stop serving the extreme environmentalists as their one favored user group.    All for them and none for anyone else...

BL:  We the landowning public need Senator Gardner and Congress Lamborn's immediate HELP to "drain the swamp" at BLM and reign in their endless, programmatic, totally on-sided mismanagement of OUR public lands!

When will we see any tangible help?

I will dutifully comment on their many planned public access/rights abuses, tell BLM I want them to implement their "Take No Action" alternative, BUT we all know they will do ONLY as they and their eco-Masters dictate, have already pre-decided.  

Way past time to DRAIN THE SWAMP at BLM!

V/R

Randy

Randy L. Witham
Constituent & Recreational Gold prospector
Buena Vista, Colorado  81211
1-719-395-2081
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Some info/data gleaned FYI from the hundreds of pages of BLM RMP draft documents:

4.4 Alternative D: The Human Ecoregion 4.4.1

Overall Theme for Alternative D

This alternative adaptively manages resources to allow for local community use and interest based on people’s desires and based on the interactions the BLM has with the public, cooperators and feedback during the, envisioning, scoping, and other forums.

It recognizes the value of public lands to the public and emphasizes managing for the ways in which local people and communities want to interact with public lands and resources.

The following four landscapes (Figure 7) that characterize Alternative D were identified during scoping; each is focused on a different set of goals:
• Eastern Plains
• Upper Arkansas River Valley
• Rural Foothills
• Front Range

Upper Arkansas River Valley Landscape:  

Solid Mineral There are 103,240 acres of Areas are recommended for Close 269,000 acres BLM- Close 68,500 acres BLM- Close 0 acres to mineral Close 82,000 acres BLM- Close 0 acres to mineral Close 0 acres to mineral Allowable Use 2– surface and subsurface withdrawal from mineral administered surface land administered surface land material disposal. administered surface land material disposal. material disposal. Mineral Materials classified as “Closed,” entry and mineral materials (348,600 total acres of (66,900 total acres of (80,200 total acres of Only which have other identified development to protect: Federal mineral estate) to Federal mineral estate) to Federal mineral estate) to resource values that would suffer unacceptable and irreparable damage should mineral material extraction • WSAs • Potential NRHP sites • Big game birthing areas mineral material disposal. mineral material disposal. mineral material disposal. take place. Applications for these areas will not be • Peregrine falcon nesting sites accepted. • Portions of ACECs • Fishery habitat • Perennial riparian areas • Developed recreation sites

Solid Mineral No similar action. No similar action. Close 253,500 acres BLM- Close 68,300 acres BLM- Close 0 acres BLM- Close 92,400 acres BLM- Close 200 acres BLM- Close 0 acres BLM Allowable Use 6 administered surface (244,600 acres total Federal minerals) to solid minerals leasing. administered surface (66,800 acres total Federal minerals) to solid minerals leasing. administered surface (0 acres total Federal minerals) to solid minerals leasing. administered surface (90,700 acres total Federal minerals) to solid minerals leasing. administered surface (200 acres total Federal minerals) to solid minerals leasing. administered surface (0 acres total Federal minerals) to solid minerals leasing.

Severe travel limitations proposed:

RESOURCE- The entire resource area is An OHV limited Designate motorized travel Designate motorized travel Designate motorized travel Designate motorized travel Designate motorized travel Designate motorized travel SPECIFIC open to OHV use except for designation will be placed (except over-snow) as (except over-snow) as (except over-snow) as (except over-snow) as (except over snow) as (except over-snow) as ALLOWABLE 132 acres just south of on designated roads and follows: follows: follows: follows: follows: follows: USES Ward. Other areas may be limited to OHV use on a trails or seasonally to protect: • Open: 0 acres • Open: 0 acres • Open: 0 acres • Open: 0 acres • Open: 0 acres • Open: 0 acres Travel and Transportation Allowable Use 1 site-by-site basis when limitations are identified and the need arises. • Perennial riparian areas • Fishery habitat • Closed: 68,300 acres • Limited to Designated: Acreage with TMP – • Closed: 68,300 acres • Limited to Designated: Acreage with TMP – • Closed: 0 acres • Limited (Interim): 21,500 acres • Closed: 68,300 acres • Limited to Designated: Acreage with TMP – • Closed: 0 acres • Limited to Designated: Acreage with TMP – • Closed: 0 acres • Limited to Designated: Acreage with TMP – 100 • Big game birthing habitat • Big game critical winter habitat • Raptor nesting/fledging habitat • Special status species plant and animal habitat • Potential NRHP sites or district • Paleontological PFYC 4 and 5 areas • All ACECs • Developed recreation sites OHV closed areas are designated to protect: • WSAs • Deer Haven Ranch • 31 Mile Ranch 319,400 acres • Limited (Interim): 270,600 acres • Motorized travel could be limited to designated routes as travel management issues arise. Emphasis would be given to ecosystem processes. Seasonal area limitations on motorized travel could include big game critical areas*Limited designation means limits all OHV use to the same manner and degree occurring at the time of the designation in the RMP. 319,400 acres • Limited (Interim): 270,600 acres • On small, isolated tracts of BLM lands with no public access, motorized travel could be limited as travel management issues arise. *Limited designation means limits all OHV use to the same manner and degree occurring at the time of the designation in the RMP. • Motorized travel could be limited as travel management issues arise. *Limited designation means limits all OHV use to the same manner and degree occurring at the time of the designation in the RMP. 291,200 acres • Limited (Interim): 64,400 acres *Limited designation means limits all OHV use to the same manner and degree occurring at the time of the designation in the RMP. 28,100 acres • Limited (Interim): 164,200 acres acres • Limited(Interim): 20,500 acres • Motorized travel could be limited as travel management issues arise. *Limited designation means limits all OHV use to the same manner and degree occurring at the time of the designation in the RMP.

4.4.3 Upper Arkansas River Valley Landscape The Upper Arkansas River Valley consists of small- to medium-sized communities that value public lands for their rural open space feel and support for mineral collection (Casey 2016).

However, communities along the Arkansas River (i.e., Leadville, Buena Vista, Salida, and Cañon City) tend to want more developed recreational opportunities directly adjacent to town (Casey 2016).

This area is basically the Arkansas River Valley from Canyon City to Leadville and the surrounding areas...

4.4.3.1 Landscape-level Goals The Upper Arkansas River Valley landscape has the following overall goals:

1. Allow opportunities to meet human demand for resource use while balancing local and regional needs with BLM’s mandates.
2. Within the framework of applicable laws, regulations, policies, and guidance, respond to local and regional desires for use of public lands.
3. Special designations would be utilized primarily to balance local and regional preferences for resources with those for resource uses and to prioritize site-specific management needs within a larger landscape.
4. Manage wildland fire, vegetation, and fuels to maintain, achieve, or exceed desired ecological and forest health conditions to create sustainable and resilient landscapes and reduce the probability of loss of life and property in the wildland-urban interface.
5. Facilitate land tenure adjustments to manage parcels more efficiently and address the demand for additional access to public lands and recreational opportunities.
6. Maintain and enhance collaboration and cooperation with landowners, stakeholders, local governments and communities, other agencies, tribes, and other individuals and organizations.



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FYI -- The Preliminary Alternatives Report is a monster 608 pages!

3.0 ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED BUT NOT ANALYZED IN DETAIL .................
9 3.1 Close Entire Decision Area to Livestock Grazing..................................................
9 3.2 Designating New Major Transportation and Energy Corridors............................
10 3.3 Closure of All Public Lands to New Fluid Mineral Leasing ................................
10 4.0 GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF EACH ALTERNATIVE.........................................
11 4.1 Alternative A: The No Action Alternative...........................................................
12 4.1.1 Why Alternative A Was Developed (Purpose and Need for Alternative A)  
12 4.1.2 Overall Theme for Alternative A ..............................................................
13 4.1.3 Northeast Resource Area ..........................................................................
17 4.1.4 Royal Gorge Resource Area .....................................................................
18 4.2 Alternative B: Emphasis on Natural Processes....................................................
18 4.2.1 Overall Theme for Alternative B ..............................................................
18 4.2.2 Landscape-level Goals..............................................................................
21 4.3 Alternative C: Emphasis on Responding to Demand for Resource Use ..............
21 4.3.1 Overall Theme for Alternative C ..............................................................
21 4.3.2 Landscape-level Goals..............................................................................
22 4.4 Alternative D: The Human Ecoregion .................................................................
22 4.4.1 Overall Theme for Alternative D..............................................................
22 4.4.2 Eastern Plains Landscape..........................................................................
24 4.4.3 Upper Arkansas River Valley Landscape .................................................
24 4.4.4 Rural Foothills Landscape ........................................................................
25 4.4.5 Front Range Landscape............................................................................. 26




You can review and comment on 4 documents here:  https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/planAndProjectSite.do?methodName=dispatchToPatternPage&currentPageId=53991

Sensitive species in or possibly occurring in the BLM area:

Table 3. BLM Sensitive Species Known to Occur or Potentially Occurring within the Study Area Species (Scientific Name name) Birds - American peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus anatum) Lesser prairie chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) American white pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) Long-billed curlew (Numenius americanus) Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) Mountain plover (Charadrius montanus) Brewer’s sparrow (Spizella breweri) Northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) Burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) Western snowy plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) Ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis) White-faced ibis (Plegadis chihi) Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) - Reptiles -- Common king snake (Lampropeltis getula) Milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum taylori) Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) - Mammals - Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) Big free-tailed bat (Nyctinomops macrotis) Townsend’s big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii) Fringed myotis (Myotis thysanodes) Swift fox (Vulpes velox) Gunnison’s prairie dog (Cynomys gunnisoni) - Fish - Rio Grande cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki virginalis) - Amphibians - Boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas boreas) Northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) Northern cricket frog (Acris crepitans) Plain’s leopard frog (Rana blairi) Eastern Colorado Resource Management Plan 53 Draft Basis for Analysis Resource-Specific Analysis Procedures Species (Scientific Name name) Plants - Brandegee’s buckwheat (Eriogonum brandegeei) Golden blazingstar (Mentzelia chrysantha/Nuttallia chrysantha) Colorado buckwheat (Eriogonum coloradense) Pale blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium pallidum) Crandall’s rockcress (Arabis crandallii/Boechera crandallii) Rock-loving neoparrya (Neoparrya lithophila) Degener’s beardtounge (Penstemon degeneri) Rolland’s bulrush (Trichophorum pumilum/Scirpus rollandii) Dwarf milkweed (Asclepias uncialis) Royal Gorge blazingstar/Royal Gorge stickleaf (Mentzelia densa/Nuttallia densa) Few-flower ragwort (Packera pauciflora) Rydberg’s golden columbine (Aquilegia chrysantha var. rydbergii) Source: BLM 2015b Data Sources The following data sources will be


Special species possibly in the BLM area:

Table 2. Federally Listed, Candidate, and Proposed Species Occurring within the Study Area Species Name (Scientific name) Listing Status Critical Habitat within the Study Area - Birds - Least tern (Sterna antillarum) Endangered No Lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) Under Review No Mexican spotted owl (Strix occidentalis lucida) Threatened Yes Piping plover (Charadrius melodus)1 Threatened No Southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) Endangered No Whooping crane (Grus americana)1 Endangered No Yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) Threatened No - Insects - Arapahoe snowfly (Arsapnia arapahoe) Candidate No Pawnee montane skipper (Hesperia leonardus montana) Threatened No Uncompahgre fritillary butterfly (Boloria acrocnema) Endangered No - Mammals - Black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) Endangered, experimental population, non-essential No Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) Threatened No New Mexico meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius luteus) Endangered Yes North American wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) Proposed Threatened No Preble's meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius preblei) Threatened Yes - Fish - Arkansas darter (Etheostoma cragini) Candidate No Arkansas River shiner (Notropis girardi) Threatened No Eastern Colorado Resource Management Plan 51 Draft Basis for Analysis Resource-Specific Analysis Procedures Species Name (Scientific name) Listing Status Critical Habitat within the Study Area Greenback cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki stomias) Threatened No Pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus)1 Endangered No - Flowering Plants - Colorado butterfly plant (Gaura neomexicana ssp. coloradensis) Threatened No Penland alpine fen mustard (Eutrema penlandii) Threatened No Ute ladies' tresses orchid (Spiranthes diluvialis) Threatened No Source: USFWS 2016 1Water depletions in the North Platte, South Platte, and Laramie River Basins may affect the species and/or critical habitat associated with the Platte River in Nebraska


The draft Wild & Scenic report is 328 pages long!

Outstandingly remarkable values include scenic, recreational, geologic, fish, wildlife, cultural, historic, and other similar values (e.g., ecological/biological diversity, paleontological resources, or botanic values). Adverse impacts on outstandingly remarkable values, water quality, tentative classification, and free-flowing condition generally result from surface-disturbing activities (such as minerals or energy development, ROW and road construction, vegetation treatments, and forest management) or other activities that can affect vegetation or damage resources, such as improper livestock grazing and OHV use.


The BLM has determined that of the 111.6 stream miles found eligible, 59.8 stream miles are suitable, and 51.9 stream miles are not suitable. Four segments of the Arkansas River were determined to be suitable for wild and scenic river designation. In the previous resource management plan, adopted in 1996 (BLM 1996), BLM also determined that Arkansas River segments were suitable. However, this study extends that determination to include additional river miles and acreage between Royal Gorge Park and Cañon City, due to land acquisitions made in that vicinity by BLM and Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Prior to the present WSR study, the BLM conducted a review of rivers and streams in the RGFO for the 1996 Royal Gorge Resource Area RMP (BLM 1996). This review, which was done between October 1989 and November 1991, analyzed 61 streams and rivers in the Arkansas River Basin for potential designation into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System (National System) and evaluated in detail the eligibility of the Arkansas River, Beaver Creek, Badger Creek, Fourmile Creek, Eightmile Creek, Grape Creek, and South Apache Creek. The subsequent WSR report for the 1996 Royal Gorge Resource Area RMP identified portions of the Arkansas River and Beaver Creek as suitable for inclusion in the National System.


” In this act, eight rivers or river segments were chosen as initial components in the National System. Congress and/or the Secretary of the Interior have added 195 rivers or river segments to the National System since the law was enacted.

Table 1.1. BLM-RGFO Eligible River or Stream Segments That Were Studied for Suitability River or Creek Segment Total Segment Length (Miles) Length on BLM–Managed Land (Miles) Tentative Classification ORVs Arkansas River Segment 1 36.3 8.0 Recreational Recreation, scenery, wildlife, botany, fish, cultural Segment 2 29.1 9.2 Recreational Segment 3 47.9 25.3 Recreational Segment 4 8.0 2.8 Recreational Recreation, scenery, wildlife Total of four segments 121.3 45.3 Beaver Creek One segment 1.9 0.3 Wild Recreation, scenery, botany East Beaver Creek One segment 5.1 1.9 Wild Recreation, scenery West Beaver Creek One segment 8.2 0.3 Wild Recreation, scenery, botany Eightmile Creek One segment 15.1 14.4 Recreational Recreation, scenery, botany, cultural Fourmile Creek One segment 23.2 10.4 Recreational Recreation, scenery, botany, paleontology Grape Creek Segment 1 5.4 3.0 Scenic Recreation, scenery Segment 2 14.1 12.7 Wild Recreation, scenery, wildlife Segment 3 7.9 4.1 Recreational Recreation, scenery Total of three segments 27.5 19.9 East Gulch One segment 4.8 4.4 Scenic Botany Cottonwood Creek One segment 7.6 6.0 Wild Botany East Fork Arkansas River One segment 3.6 3.5 Recreational Botany Chapter 1 Introduction Tentative Classification of Eligible River Segments February 2017 7 Draft Wild & Scenic River Suitability Report—Royal Gorge Field Office River or Creek Segment Total Segment Length (Miles) Length on BLM–Managed Land (Miles) Tentative Classification ORVs Falls Gulch One segment 0.1 0.1 Scenic Hydrology, botany Little High Creek One segment 1.8 1.8 Wild Botany Pass Creek One segment 1.5 1.5 Recreational Botany Red Creek One segment 1.6 1.6 Wild Botany

The Areas of Critical Environmental Concern is 65 pages long!

To limit adverse impacts on ACEC values, specific management prescriptions must be adopted for each ACEC; designation of an area as an ACEC in and of itself does not provide an area management protection. Designation of ACECs and inclusion of management actions designed to protect ACEC values is assumed to be protective of resources managed within the ACEC.

This report describes 15 existing and potential ACECs that were evaluated by the BLM’s Interdisciplinary Team (IDT) for the ECRMP (see Chapter 3, Relevance and Importance Evaluations): ● Arkansas Canyonlands ACEC (existing) ● Arkansas River Corridor ACEC (nominated) ● Castle Gardens ACEC (nominated) ● Cucharas Canyon ACEC (existing) ● Dikes of the Spanish Peaks ACEC (nominated; incorporating Mount Mestas and North Raton Basin) ● Droney Gulch ACEC (existing) ● Eastern Plains–Lesser Prairie Chicken Habitat ACEC (nominated) ● Garden Park Paleontological Area ACEC (existing; expanded) ● Grape Creek ACEC (existing) ● Mount Ouray to Poncha Drainages ACEC (nominated) ● Reinecker Ridge ● Ruby Mountain/Railroad Gulch ACEC (existing) ● South Pikes Peak ACEC (incorporating existing Beaver Creek, Phantom Canyon, and externally nominated Phantom ACECs) 1BLM (Bureau of Land Management). 1988. 1613—Areas of Critical Environmental Concern. Release 1–1541. September 29, 1988. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. xi ● Top of the World ACEC (existing; expanded; incorporating Mosquito Pass and Birdseye Gulch) ● Thompson Mountain-Twin-Gribble Mountain ACEC



From: mlawrence@blm.gov [mailto@blm.gov] On Behalf Of RG_RMP_Comments, BLM_CO
Sent: Friday, March 10, 2017 1:25 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: Just Released! Preliminary Alternatives Report for Eastern Colorado RMP

Dear Public Lands Supporter,

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is currently seeking public input through May 5, 2017, on two recently released reports: the Preliminary Alternatives Report and Draft Basis for Analysis for the Eastern Colorado Resource Management Plan (ECRMP).

These reports provide a first look at the ECRMP draft alternatives for managing the Eastern Colorado planning area and describe how the BLM plans to analyze the effects of these alternatives.

For more information, please go to the ECRMP project website: http://on.doi.gov/1HVULcA.

Thank you for your interest in public lands!
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